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By Elida Moreno
PANAMA CITY, May 29 (Reuters) - Panama on Friday awarded a nearly $2 billion contract to build a new subway line in the capital to a consortium that includes Brazilian conglomerate Odebrecht and Spanish construction firm FCC Construcciones.
Panama's office of public contracts awarded the contract after having decided earlier this month that the Odebrecht-FCC consortium presented the best proposal for the subway line, with a cost of $1.857 billion.
The tender was suspended last week due to a complaint by one of the bidders about the bidding process.
The complaint, submitted by the Panametro consortium, alleged that there were errors in the bid process stemming from the fact that at least two members of the evaluation committee had links to the winning group.
After reviewing the case against the Odebrecht-FCC consortium, however, the office of public contracts said the allegations against its bid were subjective and that the rights of the others bidders were not compromised.
As a result, the Odebrecht-FCC consortium was awarded the contract, the office said in a statement.
In a statement, the Panama City metro said the official announcement of the awarding of the contract would be made on June 2, after which there would be a five-day window for any objections to the plan to be made.
The winning consortium also won the contract to build Panama City's first metro line, a project mired in controversy after delays and ballooning costs.
The new, 22 kilometer (13.67 miles) line, which will provide service to the east of the city, is expected to be ready in 46 months from July. (Reporting by Elida Moreno, editing by G Crosse and Ken Wills)